Sahy Uhns
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Sahy Uhns

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
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"LA's Proximal Label Premieres New Beat Scene Mixtape"

It's getting to be that calculating the size of SoCal's mass of labels and artists dedicated to the region's beat scene is becoming a task meant for N.A.S.A.'s computer mainframe, but that doesn't mean we've lost interest. Another new label has appeared on our radar, and we'd like to bring you the inaugural taste of what it's all about. The new LA imprint, Proximal, is the brainchild of producers Carl Madison Burgin (a.k.a. Sahy Uhns, pictured above) and Jeff Elmassian, who launched the project to provide a hub for local producers to come together. To let people in on what Proximal is all about, Burgin and Elmassian have curated a forthcoming compilation for their label's first release, entitled Proximity One: Narrative of a City. Featured on the album are artists likes of Wake, Juj, Bear Claw, and label head Sahy Uhns, all of whom are also on this preview mixtape Proximal is now offering for free download. Download Beat Stew Volume 2 here, and check out a couple of past mixes here. The full tracklist is below.

1. Say Uhns- "A-Team"
2. Evany- "Marvin in Marvin Out"
3. Benedek- "Cyber Sax"
4. Bear Claw and Sahy Uhns- "Beat w/ Jane"
5. LarryFive- "Blue Goldfish
6. Sahy Uhns- "O.E. for Two"
7. Benedek & Presstones- "Dankster Turtloid"
8. Lawrence Grey & killqvc- "tommytime"
9. Wake- "Babe What"
10. Juj- "Sunday Bouncer"
11. Friendly Stranger- "Nefertitties"
12. Wake- "You"
13. D-Funk- "Get High"
14. Bucc Rogerz- "lyricist4life"
15. Juj & O.- "SELF deTERMINATION" - XLR8R


"Exclusive 'Proximity One' L.A. Megamix ft. Dam-Funk, Daedelus, Baths, Shlohmo and More"

Is there such a thing as too much good music? Short answer: no.

Anyone holding onto the notion that the L.A. beat scene is a lil' hometown secret probably also thinks sailboarding with baby is a good idea.

So before you go and cry foul that a greenhorn indie label, Proximal Records, has announced its arrival with a compilation celebrating the local scene, listen to the actual product, and be thankful that it's local folk who are tending this latest flame.

On August 10, Proximal will release Proximity One: Narrative of a City, an 18-track collection of music from Low End Theory-familiar beat musicians like Dâm-Funk, Daedelus, Baths (as [Post-Foetus]), Shlohmo, Tokimonsta, Dr. Strangeloop and Teebs, alongside tracks from Proximal's own promising stable: BearClaw, Benedek and Wake among others.

Also included in that lineup is Sahy Uhns, a.k.a. Carl Madison Burgin, who co-founded Proximal with Grammy-winning composer/producer Jeff Elmassian. (Bonus trivia: Elmassian made his orchestral debut with the L.A. Phil at the age of 12.)

But why don't we get to the tunes already?

Sahy Uhns has put together a propulsive megamix featuring bits of music from across his label's new release. Rather than play like a cassingle B-side snippet set, this is a fluid track -- more of a remix -- that's a worthy spin whether or not you've heard the entire album. - LA Weekly


"Los Angeles' newest beat label releases a compilation, unveils exclusive Daedelus track"

Though Mono/Poly is one of the artists closely affiliated with the Brainfeeder/Alpha Pup axis, it was only a matter of time before Los Angeles' burgeoning beat community started to be mined by other imprints. The new kid on the block is Proximal Records, a label formed by L.A. natives Carl Madison Burgin (who records under the name Sahy Uhns) and composer-producer Jeff Elmassian.

With a mission statement dedicated to "supporting and promoting vibrant new voices in the local
electronic music community," the label's first official compilation, "Proximity One: Narrative of a City," reveals its raison d'etre in its title. Attempting to weave a narrative thread through the diversity of the city's beat scene, the Proximal posse enlists everyone from Low End Theory staples Dr. Strangeloop, Take, Teebs and Tokimonsta, to scene veterans Dam-Funk and Daedelus, to some of the brightest stars of the next generation, including Shlohmo and Juj.

Naturally, the compilation showcases the talent on the Proximal roster, with Sahy Uhns, Benedek, Lawrence Grey, Wake and Bear Claw acquitting themselves admirably in the face of severe competition. While several of the scene's heaviest hitters are absent (Flying Lotus, the Gaslamp Killer, Nosaj Thing, Mono/Poly), Proximal does an impressive job of surveying the ever-shifting landscape to provide a bluffer's guide for those unaware of the dialogue between J Dilla and dubstep that's been taking place over the last three years.

Proximal will be throwing a release party on Aug. 5 at the Echo, with promises of special guests and performances from the label's core: Benedek, Lawrence Grey, Sahy Uhns. The headliner will be Daedelus, and in advance of the performance, Proximal is premiering an exclusive MP3 of Alfred Darlington's "Off Angles Edges," a track that glows and glides like a Chicago house track slowed down and forced to blunt-cruise in the far right lane of the Santa Monica Freeway. - Los Angeles Times


"Proximal Head Honcho Sahy Uhns Blazes at Low End Theory"

Los Angeles' new label, Proximal Records may be a little too hot right now. Last week, during the release party of the label's debut effort Proximity One: Narrative of a City, a small fire broke out on the Echo's stage while Lawrence Grey was performing his set. The small blaze was reportedly caused by Lawrence's incendiary electrostorm, a lighting fixture malfunction, or possibly a firestarter, a twisted firestarter. Believe what you will.

Today Proximity One hits the streets, and tomorrow night, Proximal Records co-founder Sahy Uhns will turn up the heat at Low End Theory with valley wunderkind Baths and Daedelus. But don't worrry about another flare up, the damp air produced by a pack of head-nodding dudes in hoodies should keep the Airliner safe, and a little bit smelly. - LA Weekly


"Premiere: Dam-Funk "A(nother) Day at the Carnival" (Sahy Uhns' Cosmic Songbird RMX)"

Burgeoning label Proximal’s new release, Narrative of a City, is an album celebrating and compiled by Los Angeles’ many talented beat-warpists, with a range spanning from Daedelus to Teebs to Shlomo. Dam-Funk is on there too, of course, the West Coast’s official ambassador for heavenly twerk, but don’t sleep on this remix: Proximal co-head Sahy Uhns finessed Funk’s jam into a track as glimmering and pretty as the cityscape at night, as though he took one look at the photo on the album cover (above) and channeled its majesty through osmosis. If you live in the LA area, Proximal’s having a release party August 5, details after the jump. - The Fader


"Various Artists - 'Proximity One: Narrative of a City'"

Thom Andersen's documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself is one of the most interesting works made about the malleable personality of a real place. With the help of dozens of famous movie clips, it depicts how the city of Los Angeles-- even the places that define its real-world identity-- wound up reduced through the lens of Hollywood to the shorthand of "L.A.," a locale turned unreal through geographically impossible car chases, architecturally incongruent houses, and fake-urban setpieces built in the middle of the desert. The farther east you are, the likelier it is you've been more familiarized with a silver-screen abstract idea of L.A. than the whole, and it's not even necessarily the same abstract idea that other people might have. In subtitling itself Narrative of a City, Proximal Records aims to pull the same abstraction that the movies do, reshaping not a neighborhood or a landmark but a corner of the city's music scene in its own image.

The catch is that they don't quite have their own image yet-- in fact, this isn't so much a label overview as it is a scene overview, and a far-reaching one at that. This is an aesthetic that's emerged out of satellites that spin around Los Angeles' resonant Low End Theory diaspora, a base of instrumental hip-hop that splits the difference between Oxnard weed breaks and London dubstep, then simmers it in a base of electro-inflected g-funk. But that's already become an entrenched sound in the last couple of years, something people are starting to build off and mutate in their own disparate directions. And Proximity One pulls from such a wide array that it's hard to take away anything especially unified from it, which is a good sign if you're interested in a city's sonic diversity but a bit of a problem if you want an album you'll probably like more than half of.

Still, it isn't a bad start. The narrative conceit helps corral what could have been a chaotic mess, dividing everything into four "chapters" with distinct focuses. Chapter One is the shortest, funkiest, and most accessible, a mini-movement of breezy, borderline psychedelic lowrider bounce that peaks early with an unusually short but joyous Dâm-Funk track ("A Day at the Carnival"). Subsequent chapters dive further into successively wonkier, more abstract corners, filled with off-beat breaks and crackling surface noise and bursts of transplanted melodic fragments. It's wide-ranging, running the gamut from ambient post-dubstep (Suzuki 8-Ball's "Nine-Wing") to bleary-eyed Madlib homages (Juj's "Creep") to feints at Flying Lotus' transcendent meditations (Shlohmo's "Glue Stick"). But it feels like there isn't enough there there-- it mostly comes across like comfort-food reiterations of sounds that felt a bit more bracing in 2007. When scene vet Daedelus breaks through in the last chapter with the gorgeous, soul-warping dubstep cut "Off Angles Edges", it becomes that much more obvious how far some of these other artists' styles have to go.

Not that they won't get there eventually. In fact, Proximal co-founder Sahy Uhns has already honed his technique to the point where he can take a simple-enough electro-funk rhythm, like he does in "Fire Music", and create something arresting just by piling on some crumbling wobble and decaying, stammering strings. There's also an appealing unpredictability to some of the other core label members' contributions, like BearClaw's icy, synaptic "Robotrimpin" and Lawrence Grey's Morse-code shuffle-beat concoction "Peaches for the Baby". And it already sounds miles ahead of the entry-level electro featured on their online-only Beat Stew collections that came out over the past year. Soon enough, Proximal's artists are going to depict L.A.'s sound in new, strange ways that wind up fabricating their own distinct version of reality. And if it won't be as complete a picture of the city as Proximity One is, it'll hopefully wind up building a narrative that's even more unique. - Pitchfork


"First Listen: 'Proximity One: Narrative of a City'"

Ever since Cube was rollin' in a Benzo with Lorenzo, and Dre was bangin' with a gang of instrumentals, the west coast has been known for its hip hop beats. Counter to the more aggressive sounds coming out of the east coast, producers of the early G-funk (Gangsta-funk) sound used twangy synths, rich bass lines and funk samples in their productions, for grooves that bounced, leaned and swagged their way through the airwaves. Though that era is often considered to be the golden age of beat making in Los Angeles, the recent rise of local indie-labels centered around hip hop rooted instrumentals (such as Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder) has brought about a renaissance of the LA beat scene.

Proximal Records is a new independent label, devoted to promoting LA locals in the electronic music community. Their debut release, Proximity One, is a compilation of artists big and small that shines a light on the different facets of the city's sound. West coast hip hop is the root of much of the material, but the album is by no means pure hip hop. Rather, it's a snapshot of the splintering experimentation happening in pockets of the town.

Staples of the LA scene, such as Dam Funk (pronounced Dame) and Daedalus, are featured here — the former with a keyboard-driven funk boogie and the latter with a dubstep groove that layers bending synths and strings. But it's up and comers such as Benedek, Lawrence Grey and Sahy Uhns that make the album so exciting. Sahy Uhns' "Fire Music" is a gritty, grimy banger that commands a head nod, while Grey's shifting tempos on "Peaches For The Baby" seamlessly works a range of rhythms together and Benedek's gem of slow roller just feels so…west coast. - NPR


Discography

Sahy Uhns - "Fire Music" from "Proximity One: Narrative of a City"
*Sahy Uhns co-produced this Los Angeles beat scene compilation "Proximity One: Narrative of a City" which features his track "Fire Music" which premiered on the LA Weekly music blog. The compilation was featured in the NPR: First Listen series.

Dam-Funk, “A(nother) Day at the Carnival
(Sahy Uhns’ Cosmic Songbird RMX)”
*Premiered on The Fader

Sahy Uhns - "Proximity One Mega(re)mix"
*Premiered on the LA Weekly music blog

Photos

Bio

Within the laboratory of his Los Angeles studio, Sahy Uhns (pronounced Science) has been producing hip-hop and electronic music since his early teenage years, creating concoctions that could only be attributed to a scientist who has simply gone mad. Born Carl Madison Burgin, the LA native draws inspiration from west coast hip-hop culture and channels his musical energy into generating new and unique sounds – recording everywhere he goes. Sahy Uhns’s use of custom designed software, hardware, modified instruments and found sounds, contributes to his unique approach to composition and production. As a compulsive music-maker, Sahy Uhns’s dedication and attention to detail are evident in the production of his studio tracks. His live performances brim with focused energy as he constantly engages the audience with live electronic drumming, scratching, and improvised audio manipulation through his custom-built computer interfaces. As a student at the California Institute of the Arts’ Music Technology department, Sahy Uhns has incorporated his studies of synthesis and musical robotics with the ideas and influences of his surroundings to formulate a fusion of music so inventive that it can only be defined by science.